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503rd Inf

  • 995

"The Rock"
On 14 February 1942, just two months after the American entry into World War II, the 503rd Parachute Infantry Regiment was formed, under the command of Lieutenant Colonel William M. "Bud" Miley. The regiment's 1st and 2nd Battalions were formed at Fort Benning, Georgia, from the 503rd and 504th Parachute Battalions, respectively. En route to Australia, the 503rd picked up a third battalion in Panama, where they had been undergoing jungle training. Unlike many other airborne units, which were deployed in the European Theater of Operations (ETO), the 503rd was the first airborne regiment to fight in the Pacific, and as an independent unit.

The unit's first operation was an unopposed landing at Nadzab, in the Markham Valley, New Guinea, on 5 September 1943. Although the landings were unopposed, the troops were later attacked by enemy bombers from the air. The 503rd's deployment helped force the Japanese evacuation of a major military outpost at Lae. During their overland withdrawal, the third battalion of the 503rd had a major skirmish with the Japanese rear guard.

On 3–4 July 1944, 1st and 3rd Battalions of the 503rd were delivered by parachute to Kamiri Airfield on the island of Noemfoor off the coast of Dutch New Guinea, sustaining significant casualties from the jump. To reduce further casualties, the 2nd Battalion was delivered amphibiously. At the Battle of Noemfoor, the 503rd played a major role in the elimination of the Japanese garrison on that island.[2] As a result of his heroic actions during the battle, paratroop Sergeant Ray E. Eubanks was posthumously awarded the Medal of Honor. Airfields constructed on Noemfoor after its capture enabled the advance of Allied troops from New Guinea to the Philippines.

*Approx 50mm/2″ width, chrome plated, zinc alloy, black enamel
*Attaches with 3M adhesive

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